The branch of medicine dealing with the health and medical care of infants, children, and adolescents from birth up to the age of 18 is known as paediatrics. At Burswood Health our philosophy is to tailor all our treatments to your individual needs. We have gentle, caring occupational health therapists who specialise in Paediatric Assessments.
Occupational Therapy for Children
A child’s occupation is to play and learn. Working with an occupational therapist and through paediatric assessments, we can help a child live more independently as well as improving their capacity to play and learn.
Some children have difficulties with play and learning, possibly because of conditions they have been born with, perhaps an injury or simply differences in their learning style and needs. If a child’s play and ability to learn is affected then their independence, health and how they feel about themselves will be impacted.
In paediatric assessments and occupational therapy, the goal is to let babies, children and adolescents develop their independence in everyday tasks such as:
- Fine motor skills: Development of the hand muscles, usually in conjunction with their eyes. Enabling the ability to follow their own task at hand (such as handwriting).
- Gross motor skills: Major muscle development to enable ease with everyday tasks (such as walking, sitting, playing outdoors with a ball etc.).
- Tool use: Working on the ability to use tools (such as a pencil, knife and fork etc). This is also done partly through fine motor skill training.
- Self-maintenance skills: This is when your child is struggling with self-maintenance tasks such as going to the bathroom, dressing themselves and tying shoe-laces.
- Play skills: Developing their ability to play with other children everyday with normal activities that they are presently finding challenging. Also resulting in an increase in social and communication skills.
- Visual Awareness: Understanding what they are looking at and identifying errors to develop their skills further. This often works in conjunction with fine motor skill training.
- Sensory development: Some children struggle with their surroundings. During paediatric assessments, an Occupational Therapist can help develop a child’s sensory levels to allow them to react more positively to their environment. This could mean an over or under-sensitivity to environments (such as loud noises, maintaining a calm state, aversion to certain items of clothing or colours).
Handwriting and Occupational Therapy
Handwriting is a task that is developed and grown from a young age. However, some children need more assistance than others. Handwriting development is something that our Occupational Therapists deal with on a regular basis in paediatric assessments and with proper guidance can assist your child with their handwriting capabilities.
If your child is struggling with any of the following areas regarding their handwriting, then book in a consult with one of OT’s.
Other Pain You Might Feel
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- Lack of clarity with a dominant hand.
- Struggling to grasp tools, like a pencil.
- Misplacement of letters when writing.
- Inconsistencies in the spacing of words.
- Inconsistencies on sizing and legibility.
- Ongoing pain or fatigue in their hands.
- Slower than average handwriting speed.
Handwriting involves more than just developed fine motor skills. To ensure successful handwriting capabilities are developed with your child, our Occupational Therapists focus on:
- The physical functionality of their hand and guidance in choosing a hand dominance (if required). Ensuring that their manual dexterity gets to the level required for their age and that the hand muscles are trained for handwriting purposes, enabling strong tool holding abilities.
- Visual awareness by increasing their ability to visually see the errors. This means getting an understanding of spacing, size, letter arrangement and overall legibility.
Overall, a paediatric assessment is an essential step in your journey to helping your child grow into a healthy, functional adult. For peace of mind, book your consultation today.